MUSIC LESSONS - WOODWIND
Woodwind instruments take many forms, but all create music by causing air to vibrate within a given area.
There are two major types of woodwind instruments: those that are flutes, which vibrate air in a given space, and those that use a reed, or small piece of wood, to vibrate the air to create the note.
Flutes are the more basic of the two designs and require only a length of hollow material and a way of moving air inside. This can be accomplished by blowing air into it, or by blowing air across a mouthpiece to create movement of the air inside. This makes flute very easy to improvise.
Flutes come in a number of varieties beyond what many think of as the traditional flute, which is more precisely called a Western concert flute. In a typical orchestra, one will also find piccolos, a smaller variant of the flute.
The flute design is very common around the world.
The other group of instruments in the woodwind family are reed instruments. These instruments make music when the musician blows on a reed (in some instruments there are two), which then causes the air in a chamber to vibrate. The air then escapes through holes to create a certain note.
Instruments such as the clarinet and saxophone are single-reed instruments, while the oboe is a double-reed instrument. Also under the classification of double-reed instruments are bagpipes. These instruments, along with string instruments, now form the core of many modern orchestras.
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